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June 20, 2014

Google Glass to replace audio guides at museums

GuidiGO is partnering with museums to provide virtual tours for Glass users.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

The need for audio guides at museums could soon be a thing of the past thanks to Google Glass.

GuidiGO, a startup that provides apps for art and culture, says it is partnering with museums around the world after being one of five companies selected by Google for its Glass at Work programme earlier this week.

The Paris and New York-based firm says it has been testing its Guido for Glass app at two museums in the US for the last six months successfully.

The app, which uses image recognition technology, allows glass wearers to identify paintings and other works of art at museums and galleries.

The app also includes voice commands, such as "start a tour" or "take a picture", narrated audio guidance, video, maps and indoor and outdoor navigation to guide users around the sites.

Damjan Stankovic, GuidiGO’s head of user experience, said: "We have completely redesigned our solution to take advantage of Glass features and the specific needs of visitors.

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"Via our platform, and with no technical skills, every museum and cultural site can now easily publish their existing content, automatically optimised for Glass."

Google also selected APX Labs, Augmedix, CrowdOptic and Wearable Intelligence for its Glass at Work programme.

Stankovic added: "The museums that participated in our pilot program were surprised, not only by the ease of use of GuidiGO Studio, but also by the autonomy that it gives them.

"Being able to test out a tour which has just been created, directly, in the galleries, and then tweak it again and retest it, in less than 15 minutes, provides a productivity edge that has impressed the museum management and their teams."

Although no pricing details were disclosed, GuidiGO said it is offering museums the opportunity to offer the tours for free to those who already have Glass.

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